Idaho Firm Proposes Fluorine Gas Plant Near Hobbs

Staff Report
NewsWest 9

HOBBS, N.M. (AP) - The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission is reviewing an Idaho company's proposal to build a $93 million facility that would produce fluorine gas used in medical equipment and solar panels.

International Isotopes, Inc., would build the nuclear byproduct de-conversion facility on a 640-acre site 14 miles west of Hobbs.

The plant would produce fluorine gas from uranium tails created during nuclear enrichment.

NRC licensing project manager Matt Bartlett says the Idaho Falls-based company's application was filed with the NRC Dec. 30. The proposal will go through several reviews that will take more than two years to complete.

Bartlett says the facility could handle about 25 percent of the 80 million pounds of depleted uranium tails produced annually nationwide.